Before backing tribals in SC, govt diluted their gram sabha powers in Forest Act -Jay Mazoomdaar

-The Indian Express

According to the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Rules 2016, the district collector needs to complete the process of vesting of forest rights under the FRA and obtain written consent of the affected gram sabhas before any project proposal reaches the forest department for consideration.

New Delhi:
A day before it moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay and modification of its February 13 order directing states to evict over one million tribals and other forest-dwellers, the Centre issued a circular clarifying that compliance with the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and obtaining consent of the gram sabha under the Act was no longer necessary to consider projects on forest land.

According to the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Rules 2016, the district collector needs to complete the process of vesting of forest rights under the FRA and obtain written consent of the affected gram sabhas before any project proposal reaches the forest department for consideration.

This rule has been in effect since August 2009, when the Environment Ministry made compliance with the FRA a precondition for project clearance.

But an Environment Ministry circular dated February 26, however, “clarified” that “compliance under FRA is not required for consideration of in-principle approval” of a project, and that the district collector will complete the process related to the FRA only after a project received in-principle approval.

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The Indian Express, 10 March, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/before-backing-tribals-in-sc-govt-diluted-their-gram-sabha-powers-in-forest-act-5618779/?fbclid=IwAR3M4IJ0k0RuXzlbTOa4C1tIGg

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